Facebook Messenger looks set to be as big as its parent platform as the instant messaging service has just hit 700 million users worldwide.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this yesterday at an annual company shareholder’s meeting.

Back in November 2014, Facebook Messenger reached 500 million active monthly users and by March, was up to 600 million.

If the service can maintain this steady growth rate at 100 million users every three months, it’ll hit one billion by around February next year.

The 700 million user mark also means Facebook Messenger is inching closer towards possibly beating out its biggest rival, WhatsApp, which had 800 million active users by April this year.

On Tuesday, David Marcus, head of Facebook Messenger posted a photo on his Facebook page announcing the the app has been downloaded one billion times on Google Play, a milestone few have managed to reach.

As of the first quarter of this year, the number of active monthly users on Facebook stood at over 1.4 billion, according to the latest stats on Statista.

[Source – Business Insider]